Canterbury health teams have been recognised in the prestigious international UNIVANTS of Healthcare Excellence Awards that recognise teams “who have achieved measurably better healthcare performance through unity and avant-garde thinking”.
UNIVANTS, which stands for ‘unity’ and ‘avant-garde’ is a healthcare industry award that annually recognises teams who collaborate across disciplines and transform healthcare delivery, and ultimately patient lives.
Canterbury DHB won the UNIVANTS of Healthcare Excellence 2020 Asia Pacific area award for a project called ‘Reducing Patient Risk and Enhancing Care through the Development and Implementation of a new chest pain pathway expedited by and for the COVID-19 era’.
There were 180 applications from 141 countries and the Canterbury project was unique in being the only application to receive seven stars of distinction from all judges.
The project included contributions from right across the Canterbury Health System including primary care and the Acute Demand Nursing Service; hospital and community laboratories; corporate services; researchers; and administration and clinical staff from the Cardiology and Emergency departments at Christchurch Hospital.
The project leaders were: Canterbury DHB Emergency Medicine Specialist Dr Martin Than, Emergency Department (ED) Specialist Dr Jacques Loubser, Associate Professor of the University of Otago John Pickering, Clinical Biochemist Chris Florkowski, and Cardiologist Dr Sally Aldous.
Dr Martin Than says the initiative was a rapid response to redesign Canterbury DHB’s processes for people who have suffered possible heart attacks being investigated at Christchurch Hospital.
“It was in response to the COVID-19 pandemic where we were trying to reduce admissions to hospital and reduce the amount of time people spend in ED, where they had the potential to pass on any infection.
“I’m very proud of the team for what they have done. But I am most proud of the collaborative history that sits behind the team that allowed us to make an effective, necessary and agile change,” says Dr Than.
Dr Jacques Loubser says for clinicians it is nice to be able to offer this service and do it confidently.
“It’s good for the hospital system too, the capacity that it opens up is massive, especially if we are expecting an influx of patients,” Dr Loubser says.
The judging organisations were: International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC), American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC), European Health Management Association (EHMA), Modern Healthcare, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ), Institute of Health Economics (IHE).
A statement from UNIVANTS says: “It is with great honour that we congratulate all participating teams while celebrating strategic activation and insights from clinical and laboratory medicine to achieve measurably better outcomes for patients, payors, clinicians and health systems.”
You can view a video of the team speaking about their work here.
The full list of winners and projects is available here.